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Posts Tagged ‘defense authorization bill’

Authorization Bill on Track to Pass Senate Friday

  • December 11, 2014
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The Senate most likely will clear the final version of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill sometime Friday before sending it to President Obama’s desk for his signature. On Thursday, the chamber voted to limit debate on the annual policy measure, H.R. 3979, triggering 30 hours of debate prior to a final vote. The debate could be cut short through an agreement to expedite the final vote, but Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) has vowed to object to such requests, reported CQ. Coburn pledged to block the legislation over the inclusion of almost 100 public lands provisions — including conveyances, expansions of the National Park system and changes in how public lands are managed — in the authorization bill, but his options are limited, beyond slowing the process …

Wittman Remains at Helm of House Readiness Panel

  • December 11, 2014
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Three of the seven panels that make up the House Armed Services Committee will pass the gavel to new chairmen in the 114th Congress, Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), chairman-elect of the committee, announced Thursday. Keeping his post, however, as chairman of the Readiness Subcommittee, which oversees installations and BRAC policy, will be Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va.). Wittman, who was first elected to Congress in December 2007, took over the subcommittee at the beginning of the 113th Congress …

Commissaries Earn Reprieve in Omnibus

  • December 10, 2014
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The massive omnibus spending bill unveiled Tuesday would restore most of the $100 million cut in the federal subsidy for military grocery stores included in the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill, a move that should ensure commissary operations remain at current levels. The FY 2015 omnibus, which would fund almost all government agencies through next September, would restore $90 million of the proposed reduction, reports Stars and Stripes. As a result, service members, their family members and veterans should not see a reduction in the discounts offered at the stores …

Defense Panels Request Update on Security Reviews

  • December 10, 2014
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The Defense Department will need to update the congressional defense committees on the actions it has taken following recent reviews of physical security standards at DOD facilities, under the final version of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill. The reviews of security standards were conducted in response to the shootings at the Washington Navy Yard in September 2013 and at Fort Hood, Texas, in November 2009. The report is due April 30 and should include: a summary of the recommendations that came out of the recent security standards reviews; a description of the actions taken to address each recommendation …

Authorization Bill Calls for Moderate Cut to Commissary Subsidy

  • December 9, 2014
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The compromise version of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill supports trimming the federal subsidy for military grocery stores by $100 million for one year, significantly scaling back the Pentagon’s cost-cutting proposal. The Defense Department asked for a $200 million cut in the annual direct subsidy for commissaries in FY 2015 as part of a plan to reduce the government’s annual subsidy for commissaries from $1.4 billion to $400 million over three years. Fully imposing the proposal would slash the average savings on groceries from 30 percent to 10 percent …

Defense Bill Does Not Extend Environmental Protections to Non-BRAC Sites

  • December 8, 2014
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The leadership of the Armed Services committees negotiating the final version of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill removed a provision that would have offered the same liability protections that BRAC sites receive when unknown contamination is discovered to property at facilities closed outside of BRAC. The language, added as an amendment sponsored by Indiana Rep. Todd Young (R) to the House version of the annual policy measure, would have extended the indemnity now provided by section 330 of the 1993 defense authorization bill to property not yet transferred at ammunition plants and other installations closed outside of the BRAC process …

Installations, Operational Energy Posts at DOD to Merge under Authorization Bill

  • December 7, 2014
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The Pentagon’s top installations and environment position would be merged with the department’s operational energy chief post, under the compromise fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill unveiled last week. The new position would be called the assistant secretary of defense (ASD) for energy, installations and environment. The combined organization would “equally prioritize” the functions of the deputy undersecretary of defense for installations and environment with the ASD for operational energy plans and programs …

Changes in Defense Bill Should Spur Community-Installation Partnerships

  • December 5, 2014
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Language in the compromise version of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill should overcome military services’ concerns about taking advantage of the authority first enacted two years ago allowing installations to enter into intergovernmental support agreements with their host communities to share support services for most municipal functions. Since section 331 was enacted as part of the FY 2013 defense authorization bill, the services had expressed concerns that the new authority conflicts with existing acquisition rules and regulations. The new language transfers section 331 from a chapter of the U.S. Code that deals with procurement to a chapter focused on real estate …

Authorization Bill Heads to Senate

  • December 5, 2014
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House lawmakers on Thursday easily passed the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill, sending it to the Senate for a vote next week. The compromise measure was not the product of a formal conference, but rather was hashed out over the past two months by leaders of the House and Senate Armed Services committees. The committees resorted to an informal conference for the second year in a row because of the difficulty in bringing legislation to the Senate floor …

Lawmakers Forego Changes to HUBZone Program Benefitting BRAC Sites

  • December 4, 2014
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The final version of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill does not include a provision intended to make it easier for tenants located at closed installations to qualify for the HUBZone program, a Small Business Administration initiative offering preferential access to federal procurements to businesses in distressed areas. Language in the version passed by the Senate Armed Services Committee in May, added by Maine Sen. Angus King (I), would have expanded the geographic boundaries of HUBZones at BRAC sites to include the town or county where the installation is located, or census tracts contiguous to the installation …

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